Data Center

An update on Intel DCM and StruxureWare for Data Centers

At Power to the Cloud I took the opportunity to ask Jeff Klaus, General Manager, Data Center Solutions, Intel Corporation, about the latest integrations between Intel’s Data Center Manager (DCM) and Schneider Electric StruxureWare for Data Centers DCIM software.

Intel DCM is a power management solution stack for the data center. It provides accurate, real time power and thermal monitoring and management for individual servers, group of servers, racks and IT equipment such as PDUs in the data centers. It provides a capability that is useful for both IT and facility administrators, allowing them to work jointly to reduce the data center energy footprint.

Intel DCM can help address issues such as power and thermal monitoring for accurate, real-time, consumption data to manage data center hot spots, plan and forecast power usage. It can also help when increasing rack density to maximize server count per rack in a fixed rack power envelope to increase data center utilization, or provide power optimization for specific workload types and optimize power profile per server/rack/floor or workload/application and cut electricity costs; or for business continuity applications to continue or prolong operation during power outages.

StruxureWare for Data Centers provides data center managers with the ability to operate, monitor, analyze and optimize the energy usage of a data center all the way down to the server and CPU level. This provides significant CapEX and OpEx savings and extending the data center life cycle in the process. The integration with Intel gets deep access to actual CPU power consumption and temperature, and has capabilities for tapping not only into CPU power, but also into memory power of the devices that support it.

Jeff said that there were three modules in which Intel has technology inside for the StruxureWare for Data Centers projects. Jeff further explained that “within IT Optimize module, there is power monitoring. Within ITPC there is power capping capability. Then there is a new module that’s just been available for about 6 months that’s called Access Module that allows remote access to the server through our Virtual Gateway technology”.

I then asked Jeff how important it is for the IT and Facilities organisations to be able to connect through software and firmware and Jeff told me “I think this what the whole cloud conference is about  – really trying to understand what the components from Schneider Electrics technologies contribute towards the convergence of these organisations and how users can understand how they complement one another. With the IT capabilities in some of Intel developments and working with Schneider’s engineers, I think the analysis engine and the capabilities that have come together with the facilities have provided a great solution for Schneider Electric customers”.

Jeff then explained that the Intel software DCM solution is actually decoupled from the hardware. “It’s actually a layer on top of the hardware and the Intel solution even works on non-Intel  architecture and that’s something a lot of people don’t realise. Of course there is more capability and features  if it’s used on an Intel platform but it will work on other architectures. Towards the end of 2014 we’ll be releasing a new generation of chipsets that will bring further capabilities and more instrumentation”.

Intel’s partnership with Schneider Electric is an important and fruitful relationship that benefits a wide range of Schneider Electric’s data center customers via it’s integration with the StruxureWare for Data Centers suite. News like this of continued development will only add further value to the relationship. Intel’s DCM technology brings software based data collection to collect data from servers including power and CPU and allowing active management through the StruxureWare for Data Centers platform.

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